Great day today, a bit cool but sunshine all day. Test of the reorganisation of the packing process to start the day, change of suitcase we'll use on the road, I've had enough of carrying the big one up steep and narrow flights of stairs.
After Grandma took Bethany to school, we headed for the Underground and caught the train to Leicester Square for a day of exploring. Leicester Square is pretty much West End with all the theatres and studios. Took a look around and headed on as we were to return this afternoon.
On to Covent Garden for a look through this area, quite nice with a very relaxed and market place feel. Different feel to other parts of Central London we have been to. From here we walked to Holborn to check out Peter's place of work then onto the Underground again to return to The Green Park for our tour of the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace.
The Green Park is, as its name implies, a nice green and peaceful park and obviously a favourite of Londoners during the warmer months. Dozens of deck chairs spread out waiting for someone to come along to hire them by the hour to enjoy the sun, Green Park covers 19 hectares directly across the Mall from Buckingham Palace. An old park first enclosed in the 16th century and made a Royal Park by KIng Charles II in 1668.
Out of the park to the grandeur of Buckingham Palace, Definitely impressive after the castles we saw in Ireland and reputed to be the only castle in the works still performing its original function as the home of the monarch and housing the associated administrative workings of the monarch. The palace contains 775 rooms. Our tour was self guided, but heavily supervised, through the State Rooms. These are the rooms that are used for most official dinners and other functions while the monarch is in residence. When not in residence, the rooms are opened to the public and show off the building and many treasures of the state that have been accumulated over the centuries through royal royal collections of through gifts from various countries and visiting dignitaries. It was with a sense of national pride, that the first item to be displayed on full show at the formal entrance from the court yard was the coach built in Australia and presented to the Queen.
We walked through various rooms displaying centuries old paintings, marble statues and recent items that are but a small part of the state collection.
On the Underground and back to Leicester Square we took some time to visit the M&M's showcase which included the worlds biggest candy wall. More M&M's than you would ever see anywhere else and all arranged around the wall in a kaleidoscope of colours. Then it was across the square to the Lego showcase to see an incredibly detailed reconstruction of Big Ben, a red phone box and a relief wall map of Central London.
After picking up the preordered tickets to Aladdin, we waited for Astrid to arrive and she and Therese headed off for dinner and the show.
Tomorrow we load the car, say goodbye for a few weeks and head off around the UK.